Elena Rybakina arrives in Beijing after performance bye controversy in Tokyo


Elena Rybakina arrives in Beijing after performance bye controversy in Tokyo
Elena Rybakina arrives in Beijing after performance bye controversy in Tokyo © Getty Images Sport - Mike Stobe

Elena Rybakina has landed in Beijing after withdrawing from Tokyo and the Kazakh appears to be ready to play her first tournament since the US Open. Rybakina, ranked at No 5 in the world, was scheduled to play in Tokyo this week but she pulled out due to "prioritizing my health and fitness." After missing Tokyo, Rybakina went to Beijing and that's a major indication that the Kazakh isn't dealing with a serious issue.

At the China Open in Beijing, 24-year-old Rybakina is set to make her debut at the tournament.

Rybakina called out the WTA before withdrawing from Tokyo

In Tokyo, Rybakina missed out on a top-4 seeding due to "performance byes." After Rybakina ripped the WTA and dropped clown and circus emojis when addressing the issue, her coach Stefano Vukov also voiced some frustration over the performance bye rule.

"Just to make things clear, there is no explanation of what a performance bye is. What does does this mean? do we add byes to help performing players? Or do we take away ranking earned byes? And isn't ranking itself a sign of performance? Last year we came from a final in Europe and played in Japan 2 days later and performance byes were nowhere to be found.

The issue is always the same of communication. This will also apply from Tokyo 500 to Beijing 1000 next week. 4 performance byes will be awarded. Most players have already qualified for the final 8, so far what reason should they even compete before Cancun.

The reason is that most tournaments are mandatory, and fines are given out to players if you don't compete in them. Players always pay the consequences. The system doesn't work. The marketing is terrible as you can all see Elena qualified weeks ago, and just yesterday @wta decided to post something.

We need transparency. All players need to understand what is going on. Stop blaming players for mistakes by the system itself. @ptpaplayers," Vukov wrote on his Instagram Story.

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